Nothing is worse than reaching into the fridge for a snack only to find your refrigerator not cold enough, or worse, completely warm.

No one wants to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of food on top of paying for an expensive repair. Instead, learn how to diagnose the problem yourself and get your unit back up and running fast.

Why is Your Refrigerator Not Cold?

Time is of the essence when your refrigerator won’t cool, so take action immediately by determining what’s causing the problem. The good news is that there are only a few well-known part failures that can cause a refrigerator not cold issue:

#1 – Dirty Condenser Coils

What are they: Condenser coils are used to dissipate heat from your refrigerator as refrigerant runs through them. They’re normally located underneath or on the back of most refrigerators.

How they fail: Condenser coils are the first thing you should check if you notice your refrigerator not cooling as much as it should. Over time, dirt and debris build up on the coils decreasing cooling efficiency and making the refrigerator work harder to maintain temperature.

How to diagnose: Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and visibly inspect the coils. If they look dirty, use a condenser coil brush to clean them, and repeat the process twice a year for maintenance.

refrigerator won't cool

#2 – Evaporator Fan Motor

What is it: An evaporator fan motor is used to circulate cold air from your refrigerator’s freezer section into the fresh food side.

How they fail: The first sign of a defective fan motor will be that the freezer is cold, but the refrigerator side is warm. Fan motors do tend to wear out more often than other refrigerator parts. Other malfunctioning parts can also force it to work harder for longer periods of time, causing it to fail.

How to diagnose: To test your evaporator fan motor, access the refrigerator cabinet and spin the fan manually. If the motor and blade don’t turn freely, you should replace the part.

refrigerator not cooling

Image from Sears Parts Direct

#3 – Door Gasket

What is it: Each section of your refrigerator uses a molded door gasket to form a tight seal when the door is closed.

How they fail: There are plenty of ways that your door gaskets can get damaged. Constant temperature fluctuations can make them warp and not seal correctly, and rips and tears can come from all sorts of accidental contact.

How to diagnose: If you have a refrigerator not cold, visually inspect the gasket for damage. You can also stick a dollar bill halfway into the fridge and close the door. If you pull the dollar bill and there’s no resistance, you should replace the gasket. Repeat all around each seal.

refrigerator isn't cooling

Image from Repair Clinic


Refrigerator not cold? Now you know what to look for! Be sure to check out our blog for more information on why your refrigerator won’t cool, and call D & T Appliance Service Company for all of your refrigerator repair needs.